I welcome the Wijngaards statement on the fiftieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae. Humane Vitae was a flawed teaching. Its impact was, and continues to be, cruel and inhumane for many committed couples throughout the world.
The Wijngaards analysis of Humanae Vitae is theologically and scripturally rigorous. It challenges the church to include in its methodology in moral teaching the lived human experience of married life as well as the theological basis in scripture and tradition.
The insights of Gaudium et Spes on the meaning of married life have been ignored for the last fifty years This document of Vatican II places the mutual love of the couple at the core of the relationship: this is a relational responsible model where the decisions about parenting are made in conscience and consideration of the varied circumstances of the couple’s lives.
The reliance on physicalism, as identified in this statement, to understand parenthood urgently needs to be replaced by a meaningful theology of human sexuality.
Dr Gina Menzies
Lecturer in Medical Ethics
The Royal College of Surgeons